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Eighteen illegal vineyard workers located near Mildura.



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Senator Amanda Vanstone MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

Media Centre

Eighteen illegal vineyard workers located near Mildura

VPS 85/2004

Information from the community has assisted with the location of eighteen people working illegally in the Mildura region, 500km north west of Melbourne, the Minister for Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said this morning.

'Officers from my Department, in conjunction with Victoria Police visited a number of addresses linked to a vineyard at Colignan, where a number of people were staying and working,' Senator Vanstone said.

'Seventeen of the people located had overstayed their visas and the other person was working in breach of visa conditions. All have been transferred to the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre in Melbourne. Arrangements are currently being made for their removal from Australia as required by law, ' said Senator Vanstone.

Of the group there were six Thai nationals (four females and two males), nine Malaysian nationals (three females and six males) and three Indian nationals (one female and two males).

Employer Warning Notices will be served on the relevant employer.

'Officers from my Department, often with assistance from state police, make regular visits to workplaces in many parts of Australia, including restaurants, farms, shops, offices, factories and brothels, in an effort to detect and locate people who are in the country illegally or who are working illegally, ' said Senator Vanstone.

'People with information on illegal workers or visa overstayers should call the immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623. '

'The success of operations such as this should send a strong message that this government does not tolerate people living and working illegally in this country, ' Senator Vanstone said.

17 June 2004